Noble Corp.'s jack-up drilling rig, the Noble Innovator, earlier this month arrived in the Port of Aberdeen for maintenance. According to the Port of Aberdeen, with legs measuring more than 200 meters in height, the rig is the largest vessel to ever enter the port.
The offshore rig arrived at the new £400 million Aberdeen South Harbour for a 60 to 90-day maintenance period.
Once the maintenance is completed, it will go on a contract with BP for decommissioning work in the central North Sea.
"The maintenance work scope will benefit Aberdeen’s economy and job creation through a multi-million-pound investment in local contract awards, where selected vendors will support the maintenance work such as diving, welding, inspection, painting, scaffolding, accommodation, catering, logistics and many more," Port of Aberdeen said, adding that construction of South Harbour is scheduled to complete in Q2 2023.
This will make Aberdeen the largest berthage port in Scotland.
Roddy James, Chief Commercial Officer, Port of Aberdeen, said: “It’s exciting to welcome new types and sizes of vessels to the port, be that from oil and gas, renewables, cargo, or cruise. South Harbour’s tidally unrestricted deepwater berths, extensive laydown space and heavy lift capacity, make Aberdeen an attractive option for larger vessels.
“The expanded Port of Aberdeen, across North Harbour and South Harbour, now offers customers even greater flexibility for their projects, with a focus on reducing risk, adding value, and minimizing cost.”
Claus Bachmann, VP of Operations, Noble Corporation, said: “We are excited that the new South Harbour facilities have made it possible for one of our rigs to visit Aberdeen for the first time ever. The Noble Innovator is stopping by for a so-called special periodic survey," which rigs must undergo every five years to ensure that we are able to operate safely, and which will involve multiple local suppliers in the extensive maintenance scope.”
The 2003-built ultra-harsh environment Noble Innovator (ex-Maersk Innovator) jack-up rig, is set to begin its contract in May 2023.
Doris Reiter, Senior Vice President, BP North Sea, said: “The business decisions BP is taking today continue to positively impact the economy of Aberdeen, as they have for nearly 60 years.
"Our contract with Noble supports the supply chain to seize opportunities on our doorstep and demonstrate its world-class decommissioning capabilities.”
Update February 27, 2023:
The Port of Aberdeen has shared a video of the rig's arrival in the port and has invited education establishments, professional organisations and community groups to arrange visits during the week: